SITE Association criticises FBR for ‘harassing’ filers

KARACHI (STAFF REPORTER): SITE Association President Asad Nisar Barkhurdaria has said that excessive audit driven harassment by Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for the filers is counterproductive and discourages tracking of non filers to join the club of filers. He said that the reasons for ongoing drive to ‘harass’ the filers appears to be a pressure on RTOs/FBR offices to meet the short falls against the targets given for tax collection. The excessive drive to expect the present filers to provide extra revenue through use of such harassment tool is not in the interest of business economy of Pakistan which is already under big pressure of unreasonably high cost of doing business whereby the competition of exports merchandise and domestic products is not improving. This is also the main reason for declined in exports and increase in imports due to non-cost competitiveness of local products against competing imports, he added. He further said that there are lot of problems in automation system of FBR due to which extensions were always prayed for by trade and industry platforms.

 Pakistan Capital Market Expo held in Peshawar

 PESHAWAR (APP): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in collaboration with Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited (CDC) and Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) organised the first-ever Pakistan Capital Market Expo in Peshawar on Wednesday. The event was endorsed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI), and representatives of leading stockbrokers, asset management companies and banks had set up exhibition stalls to provide information about their products and services. The objective of the event was to educate both existing and potential investors in the Peshawar area with respect to investment opportunities available in the capital market and steps taken by the SECP for the protection of investors, said a press statement issued by the commission. Interactive awareness sessions on equities and mutual funds were conducted, and the participants actively engaged in discussions on various topics with representatives of the SECP, CDC and PSX.

KPCCI President Haji Muhammad Afzal greatly appreciated the efforts of the SECP, CDC, PSX and the other entities for organising the event. He stated that there should be greater collaboration between the KPCCI and the capital market entities and such events should be held in other cities of the KPK.

 LPG association raises concern over high trade deficit

LAHORE (STAFF REPORTER): LPG Association of Pakistan has expressed grave concern on ballooning trade deficit and urged the government to promote local LPG as alternative fuel as import of petroleum products is one of the major reasons of widening trade gap. While presiding over an urgent meeting of the stakeholders, LPG Association of Pakistan Chairman Farooq Iftikhar said that import of petroleum products is the biggest contributor towards historic trade deficit and is also a major indicator of the economy of any country. He said that the country’s trade deficit swelled by 38.8 percent to $23.385 billion during the first nine months of the ongoing fiscal year owing to rising imports. He said that trade deficit of $3.208 billion in March was 77.33 percent high as compared to the same month of previous year. Iftikhar said that locally produced LPG is the best alternative fuel that can easily be used in commercial vehicles on a large scale besides fulfilling the needs of the domestic consumers.

 He said that locally produced LPG is quality-wise good and environment-friendly but it is a matter of concern that instead of giving relief to the local producers, the government has allowed free import of spurious, adulterated and dangerous LPG that is causing huge damage, not only to the national exchequer but to the human lives.

 SECP, PITB ink MoU for sharing corporate data

 ISLAMABAD (STAFF REPORTER): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has signed an MoU with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) for sharing of corporate data available in e-Services through an online interface to be developed for the purpose. A signing ceremony in this respect was held through videoconference on Wednesday. SECP Chairman Zafarul Haq Hijazi and PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif signed the MoU on the behalf of their respective organisation. The interface will enable PITB to utilise the company registration data available in the SECP’s e-Services within the business registration portal being developed by the PITB. It has been planned that after integrating various registration processes in the provincial domain, the business registration portal will be connected with the federal authorities, including SECP, for which an application programming interface is required to be developed for data sharing between the business registration portal and e-Services.

 It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan ranks 144, out of 191 economies, in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, 2017. The current ranking can be improved with the introduction of integrated online business registration system between federal and provincial authorities. Earlier, the SECP had also integrated its online registration system successfully with the FBR for NTN registration on the basis of company registration data made available through e-Services.

The SECP plans to sign similar MOUs with relevant authorities of other provincial governments to facilitate them in registration under their respective domains through utilisation of the company registration data available with it.